Wrapper: Nicaraguan Cuban Seed Hybrid
Size: 5.5 x 55 Robusto (Scherzo)
From Halfwheel.com (7-14-2021):
“There’s a new Aging Room series coming to store shelves in August, as Rafael Nodal has announced the Aging Room Collection. It’s a project that reunites Rafael Nodal, who is also the head of product capability for Tabacalera USA and one of the owners of the Aging Room brand, with A.J. Fernandez, who produced the cigars.
“In a report by Cigar Aficionado that has since been confirmed by a press release, Nodal said that the Aging Room Rare Collection is intended to offer small runs based on the availability of rare and what he called superbly well-aged tobaccos. For the first project, the cigar is a Nicaraguan puro, with the wrapper leaf a Cuban seed hybrid grown by Fernandez on his La Lilia farm. Additionally, there is pelo de oro in the blend, a tobacco known for its distinct flavor and strength but has several challenges for growers to overcome.”
SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto 5.5 x 55 Scherzo $15.50
Rothschild 4.5 x 52 Festivo $15.00
Gordo 6 x 60 Vivase $16.00
This is a good looking schmekel. Oily as hell. Just a couple veins on one side…but the other half of the arc is free and clear. There is a fine grit of toothiness that feels like baby hair. The nipple is stout. Just how I like them. The cigar is evenly distributed, albeit a bit hard. It feels good in the hand. Weighty but not a Duraflame log. The wrapper is a shiny bronze with aged patina. Seams are barely visible and jam up and jelly tight.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Aromas are very faint. Not ‘Gloriosky Bullwinkle!’ I pick up chocolate covered caramel, strong barnyard, malt, black pepper, a tad woody, wee floral notes, licorice, and fruity notes. Yep, a Nic puro.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, chocolate covered caramel, espresso, malt, potent licorice, Fruity Pebbles, and cedar.
The draw on the cigar is exactly how I like my women…I can blow air in one ear, and it travels out the other ear immediately. No need for my PerfecDraw draw tool.
Good start with the ambient music on Pandora. I start my adventure under the tutelage of Bob Dylan and “Like a Rolling Stone.” I believe the song had just come out in 1965 and I was really into music and playing bass guitar. I was in the car with my mother when the new song came on. My mother was a free thinker and encouraged my music. But when she heard that song, she turned to me with a scrunched face and asked me, “What is THAT?” I laughed and told her. It took a while, but she got to like Dylan.
OK. Where was I?
Right off the bat, I’m in lust.
A nice peppery start that is piggybacked by notes of chocolate, espresso, creaminess, malt, Rice Krispies, sweet gooey caramel, cotton candy, and figurative Shetland Pony ass.
Smooth. Complex from the beginning puffs. The burn is as sharp as my wit during sex with Charlotte. Laughing is the only thing that keeps her awake.
The complexity is so thick that there are numerous flavor bits floating around my brain just like flies like to float around my brain. I’m sure just a coincidence.
This tobacco is called out in the press release as ‘well aged.’ No shit. I’ve only had the sticks a couple weeks and the first one spoke to me like a whore wearing a Polish Policja uniform.
Transitions kick in. The finish is oily and savory. So far, the cigar struts the savory portion over the sweet side of the street.
Strength is medium+.
This is a cigar for gentlemen. For guys who love the taste of a fine cigar. Dr. Rod wrote me a note yesterday discussing his love for Cubans and how his 40’ long humidor was filled with sticks aged 10 years and longer. OK…so, maybe not as good as his Partagas Lusitanias.
With ¾” burned, the cigar leaps into the void. Sort of sums up my life. I am surrounded by the void. $10 to every reader that doesn’t tell my wife I said that.
It is 8 degrees as I write this. I have the windows open and I betcha a buck that the cold air is going to crack the wrapper at some point.
Meanwhile, I’m bundled up like Ralphie’s little brother, Randy.
The price. The parameters are that I’ve only allowed this stick a few weeks hibernation…which means the blend will only amplify its testosterone with months of humidor time…and yet still tastes delicious with such short notice that it must perform for my dear readers while still napping. If this quality tobacco continues on the path it has chosen today, the cigar is worth it.
The tobacco wreaks of sweetness now with bits of English Brown Ale, vanilla ice cream, and Beer Nuts.
The cigar is a slow roll because of passionate Torcedores. Yet, time passes quickly as the blend is becoming a serious man.
Complexity never stops reaching. Transitions are a carousel of nuanced flavors. It is like smoking a Xanax Corona.
By no means, is this a flavor bomb. Every flavor works together in harmony and peace. The whole exceeds its parts. Just lovely.
The pairing of Nodal and Fernandez worked out beautifully. This is a classic blend.
The cigar is so intense that I remove my infrared Kevlar cup. You just never know, do you?
I shouldn’t be writing reviews. 6 months of no sleep now due to spine pain. And because of the opioid scare, not one of my docs will give me any pain meds. I believe they hope I just stroke out from lack of sleep and they can wash their hands of me. It is very hard doing this on 1-1/2 hours sleep…again. Forgive me. I don’t have a clue where I am. My usual brilliant wit is hobbled.
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is playing and I’m tapping the desk like a drummer. My head bops up and down sending waves of lightning bolts to my brain for being a fool. I want a new neck Mr. Doctors.
This is sheer fucking bliss. I mean double wow! This is one of the greatest cigars I’ve smoked all year. And I didn’t have to wait 6 months to review it.
I’m in a warm cocoon with my binky. Wake me up when the pandemic is over.
Construction is stronger than dirt. The burn is laser sharp. The cold is giving me hemorrhoids…but the cigar maintains an even keel and will not submit to cold air damage.
Oh man, I only bought two of these. And this is the second one. It is a limited production cigar due to the scarcity of the right tobacco. This is the other reason I chose to review it. No point reviewing it after they’re gone.
You can get them from Small Batch Cigar and use the promo code Katman for 10% off.
As I near the halfway point, I’m already all in. This is a blend every serious cigar smoker should try.
Strength is now a very potent medium/full. By the last third, I will be screaming for my mommy. I will be too weak afterwards to have my usual breakfast of Wheatena and Fleet Enemas.
The key to its complexity are the gazillion nuanced flavor notes that scurry around with its only goal is to please the palate.
That English Brown Ale and the malt are made in heaven. The Beer Nuts, chocolate, espresso, caramel, vanilla ice cream, hints of licorice, and lemon custard are noticeable without trying too hard…but there are other flavors at play that my palate just cannot identify.
I believe the first third was not as solidly packed as the second third. The burn of the cigar has slowed down exponentially. A cigar like this should be smoked alone with no distractions…unless you are bucks up like Dr. Rod. He has the mortgage to my soul.
My first sip of water and I’m plotzing. Flavors explode and then run back to their dark corners.
The cold is deadly. My nipples are hard. A crack in the wrapper forms near the foot. I grab my PerfecRepair Cigar glue and the issue is resolved.
Nothing linear about this blend. It reaches for the stars. Corny analogy but I am so happy that I don’t care.
Strength is now full tilt. Nicotine kicks in. I don two eye patches, so I don’t swirl.
The blend is like your first blow job. Eventful, but too quick.
I rail about prices all the time ad nauseum. Even I’m sick of it. Honestly, they could have charged something in the $20 range, and it would still be worth it.
And now the music ruins everything. Billy Joel. I saw a recent documentary called “Hired Gun.” All about the session players that are in high demand. And boy did the interviews reveal raw truth about band leaders that are great and those that are shit. Joel was lambasted over and over because he is such an asshole to his sidemen. No one ever got fired but they just weren’t invited to rehearse again. Nice. Nothing can make your stomach hurt like reading in the paper that the band you were in has all new players.
Despite the strength being life threatening, it remains smooth and deliberate. Complexity is through the roof.
I have to put on a jacket.
“House of the Rising Sun.” If you were in a band in the 1960’s, this song was always in the set list. Double yuck. But it gave the dancers a chance to slow it up and grab ass.
The blend is so intense that I can barely feel my gonads. I have a cashmere wrap around my ankles to keep them warm.
Have you upped your computer to Windows 11 yet? If not, don’t do it. It isn’t even in beta testing yet. I made that mistake, and it took me 3 days to rectify my computer back to Windows 10.
The blues. Eric Clapton. “Driftin’ Blues.” I’m swaying like Ray Charles.
It’s taken me a good hour to get to the last third.
Holy shit. This cigar is strong. Finishing it is a vision quest. I should come out the other end a man. I was tired of being a little girl.
More cracks appear. The cold is thy enemy.
Sleep deprivation, empty stomach, and strong tobacco…oy gevalt.
The cigar does not relent. It is on a mission from God.
If you can handle ethnic cleansing, this is the cigar for you.
Nothing in the flavor profile dissipates. Its complex nature is there to the finish. No heat or harshness.
A brilliant, passionate blend. It will definitely make my top 25. Unless I go into cardiac arrest smoking the last 1-1/2”.
If I was not reviewing it, I would take breaks to get my sea legs stable.
It is limited so now is the time to pull the trigger.
With ¾” left, I throw in the towel. I’m a wuss.
And now for something completely different:
More on Butch “Eddie Munster” Patrick….
Our press agent had finagled us into attending an anniversary party for Alan Hale Jr’s Restaurant Row seafood restaurant on La Cienega Blvd. The Skipper (Gilligan’s Island) had a very successful place called The Lobster Barrel. (The restaurant was sold after Hale’s death and the name changed to The Shark Bar)
Did you know that The Skipper’s real name was Jonas Gumby?
Butch Patrick and I arrived at the packed house and it was crawling with strange celebs.
Rudy Vallee was there. The silent screen/1930’s actor…the actor/singer who used a paper cone megaphone to sing through…Max Baer Jr. (Jethro) from The Beverly Hillbillies was there doing his best Elvis impression. No kidding. He had an expensive suit with a cape, shirt unbuttoned to his navel, a load of yellow gold necklaces, too many gold bracelets, and his hair was dyed jet black with Elvis sideburns. He also had three good looking chicks hanging all over him.
We hung out and ate and drank on the Skipper. We also met some up-and-coming bands, who I can’t remember. Lots of photos were taken by newspaper and magazine reporters. Butch was in all of them. I lost them over the years.
Now here is where it went south on me…not Butch…me.
We meandered towards the exit of the restaurant saying our goodbyes to everyone.
Hale stood at the exit saying goodbye to everyone and thanking them for coming. Now I thought this was his birthday party and as I shook his hand, I said, “Happy Birthday, Mr. Hale.”
Hale didn’t even flinch or blink when I said that. He thanked me profusely for coming and we were back on La Cienega. Then Butch turned to me and said, “You schmuck. It isn’t his birthday; it’s the anniversary of the restaurant.”
What a nice man Mr. Hale was not to correct me and embarrass me. I met a lot of celebrities while doing the Eddie Munster project back in the early 1980’s. And no one was as down to earth as The Skipper.
I was on an errand to bring some PR material to Entertainment Tonight on the ABC lot in Hollywood. They were planning to do a segment on my Eddie Munster project. We had a single called, “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” We used the theme from the show, and I wrote some lyrics about Eddie. Naturally, Butch Patrick was the star.
As I made my way through the maze of buildings, the local morning show was doing an outside segment on the grass. They were going to interview Howard Cosell.
I had to stop dead in my tracks because I couldn’t get into the building without walking through the shot. A PA told me I could make my move during a commercial.
And there was the man, leaning against a steel rail…watching and waiting. So, I tip toed up to Cosell and started a conversation. I showed him my PR stuff and he got a big chuckle out of it.
We talked quietly for about 5 minutes…about life. No sports. No entertainment. Just life. It surprised me what a down to earth man he really was. No pretentions or uppity behavior because I was a nobody. I can’t remember what we spoke about, but we laughed.
Then it was his time in the chair. He told me to stay and watch. Hell, I was in no hurry, so hell yeah. Work back at the studio would still be there.
They talked to him about Monday Night Football where he was a star. And he was funny. I couldn’t help it and laughed out loud causing the two on air hosts to laugh on the air as well.
Then Cosell told them about me standing just a few feet away and that I should join them because of this really cool project I had. The two on-air idiots freaked.
He got out of his director style chair, walked off camera, and dragged me over. I just stood there like a schmuck. Cosell made me tell them about my project and show the record and PR photos of the band which I called “Eddie and the Monsters.” All of them in ghoulish makeup. And all very good-looking young men. Perfect for tween girls to swoon over. That was our target audience.
The hosts got bullied by Cosell and then you could see in their eyes that in their ear mic, the director was telling them “Go with it.”
No one had heard from Butch in some time at that point. Now he is everywhere doing those child star actor conventions signing autographs for $10.
So, they asked me about the project, and I had all that shit for the camera to zoom in on. And it was a great, free commercial for my project showcased on ET the following week.
Because of my intrusion, I ended up bumping the next personality scheduled…David Copperfield.
He stood there waiting…I slyly looked off camera and saw that he was so angry that he was as red as a beet. He was pissed off big time. The on-air people made their apologies to Copperfield and said they would have him on another time.
Copperfield stormed off.
When we were done, Cosell invited me to breakfast at Canter’s Deli in the Jewish section of West L.A. Very famous place. Around since the early 20th century.
We got there and all heads turned. We spent almost two hours talking and laughing while he told me inside stuff about Monday Night Football. Holy cow. The stuff he told me. I should write about it because everyone he spoke about is now dead.
We kept being interrupted by autograph seeks. Cosell was magnanimous and generous with each and every person.
He finally told me he had to go. I offered to pay but he would have none of it. He asked if I had a place to go for Yom Kippur. I told him I would be with my family in Long Beach. He told me that if it fell through, I was welcome to his house.
I came this close to calling my father and telling him I had gonorrhea.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS